20 Days Post-op TT Swelling? (photo)

Still concerned about swelling above scarline and below belly button. Feels heavy like a tire. Is this normal. Go back to surgeon on Thursday. Hoping and praying its not a complication.

Doctor Answers (5)

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

+1

You are correct in that your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to evaluation of the swelling present. 

Generally speaking, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.

I hope this helps.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 684 reviews

Swelling of the lower abdomen following a tummy tuck

+1

You appear to have normal dependent edema of the abdomen.  This may take another 2 - 3 months to fully resolve.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Is this swelling after Tummy Tuck normal?

+1

Thanks for your question. I don't see anything too alarming in these pictures. Swelling after tummy tuck can persist for 4-6 months. I think it is important to maintain close follow up with your surgeon, and am glad to hear you have an appointment coming up. I would ask your surgeon the following questions:1. Did he perform a muscle plication? 2. Does he want you to wear tight compression and if so how long?  3. Does he think there is any fluid under the skin? These questions will help you know what to expect. Hope this helps.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Swelling after tummy tuck

+1

Im glad to hear you have a follow-up scheduled.   I wouldn't worry too much.  Swelling after tummy tuck can persist for weeks to months.   Compression garments can help manage/decrease the swelling.  

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Swelling after abdominoplasty takes months to totally resolve.

+1

I don't see anything alarming in the photographs provided. Nevertheless it's a good idea to visit your surgeon and express your concerns.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.